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The Coronavirus: Keep Calm and Carry On

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As information and misinformation circulate regarding the Coronavirus, we are writing to provide some general guidance and link our treatment provider community together as we all work through this matter. First, NAATP has made no changes to its educational program scheduling and policies, and NAATP National 2020 in San Diego is going forward in May as scheduled. There is no reason to assume otherwise. We look forward to another successful national conference addressing the important issues our field faces.

Having said that, it is also true that our treatment providers are currently grappling with the complex matter of providing a safe and healthy treatment environment and providing appropriate communication to current and prospective patients and staff. While public perception does indeed matter, it is most important that accurate and balanced information be provided. In this regard, the essential current fact according to the CDC is that for the general American public, who are unlikely to be exposed to the virus at this time, the immediate health risk from COVID-19 is considered low. Still, this is an evolving situation and it is advisable to regularly be appraised of the current advisory status at CDC Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Summary. Additionally, providers may be guided by the CDC hospital advisories at CDC Steps Healthcare Facilities Can Take. Additional links within the above sites will provide further guidance regarding employee and patient care, including the employment of common sense and, of course, the basics of Handwashing.

It is imperative that we, as an addiction treatment community, not contribute to an inappropriate panic and, at the same time, provide safe and accurate information. As the president of the American Medical Association said in her recent message, “accurate information, rooted in science and evidence, is the most powerful message we have. Our patients look to us as a calming source for timely and credible information, and more so at a time of high anxiety and fear.” Additional information from the AMA may be found at AMA COVID-19.

Finally, as a professional membership community, NAATP’s greatest resource is its members themselves. We encourage you to support one another and exchange strategies and messages through the NAATP Member to Member communication portal. You will need to be signed in to your member account to access the Forum. 

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